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CHURCH HISTORY

87 years ago, First Baptist Church was organized at the home of Carrie Davis, under the direction of Rev. Cave. Among the founders were Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Crockett, Mr. and Mrs. William Kain, Mary Lawson, Annie Griggs, Mr. and Mrs. William Adams, Sr., Rev. and Mrs. Burns, William Adams, Jr., and Carrie Davis. Rev. Cave, the first pastor, and Trustees Crockett and Kain made arrangements to purchase this present site from John Hoffman. A charter was obtained from Calvary Baptist Church, Rockville, Maryland. The First Baptist Church was built in 1920. After Rev. Cave's death, the following pastors have served: Pastors Bernard Botts, John Lancaster, James Cook, Louis A. McComb, I.M. Gray, James W. Murphy, Robert Sellars, Interim Pastor John Simms, and our current Pastor Carl E. Davis.

The Rev. James W. Murphy, a son of Shiloh Baptist Church, was installed as Pastor of First Baptist Church during a ceremony held Sunday, February 11, 1951, with Rev. E.L. Harrison, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., officiating. Rev. Murphy was married to the former Mary E. Burgess, who was not only First Lady of the church in name, but also in giving and taking an active part in the church programs.

Under the capable shepherding of Pastor Murphy, the church made great progress. During the year 1962, Pastor Murphy saw the need for a new building. At the time, the building fund was only $850. By the grace of God, and the keen insight of Rev. and Mrs. Murphy, a special building fund drive was launched. Deacon Higdon, Chairman of the Board of Deacons, was appointed to serve as laison officer. As a result of his untiring and persistent effort, a loan was obtained from Citizen Building and Loan Association. A new building came closer to reality!

Work began on the lower section of the church in August of 1968. During construction, services were held in Kensington Elementary School. On December 22, 1968, we made a joyful return to the lower portion of our church. Carrie Davis, the oldest member and also one of the founders, cut the ribbon. After completion of the lower section, many felt that it would be years before we could complete the building project, however, Pastor Murphy never lost sight of the coming of the new building...and he pushed forward. He recorded 2 records: On The Battefield, and Let Jesus Fix It For You, from which contributions went into the building fund. Later, Rev. Murphy wrote and published a book of sermons. Proceeds from this also went to the building fund. Five years following the completion of the lower portion of the church, work began on the upper portion. By July 1974, the new church was completed and First Baptist Church began to use the main sanctuary. By the grace of God, the First Baptist Church mortgage was burned on November 29, 1987.

Following 42 dedicated years of service as Pastor, Rev. Murphy saw a need for another profound change for First Baptist. He recognized that he needed assistance as he prepared to hand over the leadership of the First Baptist congregation to a capable minister of God. Rev. Robert L. Sellars was named Assistant to Rev. Murphy in late spring, 1993. Rev. Sellars carried on, as Rev. Murphy supported, directed, guided, and prayed from his inactive status. On September 11, 1993, Rev Murphy celebrated his retirement as Pastor of First Baptist. Just one month later, on October 11, 1993, his family, friends and acquaintances, and the First Baptist family celebrated Rev. Murphy's homegoing. He departed this life on October 5, 1993. Rev. Sellars was named Interim Pastor of First Baptist and served in that capacity for 2 years. On Sunday, October 15, 1995, he; the eighth person to hold the title, was installed Pastor of First Baptist Church. During his pastorate, the Church Council, an advisory board of elected officers, and ministry leaders were born.

Following Pastor Sellars' resignation in April 1998, the faithful Associate Minister of many years of service dating back to Rev. Murphy's pastorate, Rev. John Simms, accepted the invitation and became the Interim Pastor of First Baptist Church. Under his leadership, our church stood strong and progressed as a unified church as we moved forward to the coming of our full-time Pastor.

January 2001 began an era in First Baptist history that will be known as the time of “A New Thing” for our church. For the first time, First Baptist has a full time Pastor, Rev. Dr. Carl Edward Davis from Princeton Theological Seminary; where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. Prior to Pastor Davis' appointment to First Baptist, he was an associate minister at his home church, Bethel Baptist Church , Brooklyn, New York and associate minister at First Baptist Church of Princeton, New Jersey; where he was in the final pastorate polishing grasp of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Davis was delivered, by the grace of God, to First Baptist. On March 11, 2001 , the formal Pastor's Installation Service was held. Continuing to prepare himself for God to use him, Pastor Davis enrolled in a doctorate program at the Howard University School of Divinity and now leads our church from the strength of a God-sent undershepherd who received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Howard University School of Divinity in May 2005.

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